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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 9, 2010 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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supported the recent reinstitution of paygo rules and proposed a three-year freeze of nonsecurity discretionary spending. the paygo rules will help to prevent measures that could worsen the long run budget outlook. the nonsecurity discretionary freeze will force policymakers to limit spending growth and to choose carefully which programs are allowed to grow and which are forced to shrink. these are decisions that need to be made and it's good to start making them right now. finally, the president has issued an executive order creating a bipartisan fiscal commission. the commission is charged with proposing methods to shrink the deficit to a sustainable level in both the medium and the long runs. the president has made it clear that nothing is to be off the table as the commission begins its investigation. he wants to give the commission the best chance possible to come up with a solution to our budget deficit that can be supported by both parties. this is a concrete step that we
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are taking right now to forge the bipartisan consensus that will be necessary to truly get our fiscal house in order. you know, over the past year, the administration has taken some heat for supposedly trying to do too much. but as i hope my discussion makes clear the policy decisions are all interrelated to continue to move forward on jobs we need to take additional targeted measures to help turn renewed growth into robust job gains. but to do that in a responsible way we need to put in place a plan for dealing with the long run budget deficit. and controlling healthcare costs is an sentence part of doing that. it's all part of a package that will put people back to work and make sure that the american economy comes through this crisis even stronger than before. thank you. [applause] >> dr. romer has agreed to take
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some questions. we are going to give a preference to nabe members. but the hands are all up. you can choose away. >> sure. let's go right here. >> hi. last year you talked about -- [inaudible] >> and on top of that, what role -- it's hard for me to separate out the role the federal reserve and the treasury issues and the t.a.r.p. did to set the stage for what was later a recovery as well. i wonder what your thoughts were on those? >> oh, excellent -- absolutely excellent questions. let me start with the last point which is i think as important as i think the recovery act has been and i think it has been
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truly essential, it has been part of a much broader response. and i think you're absolutely right. i give the federal reserve tremendous credit for the aggressive actions that they took especially in the fall of 2008. i think the programs put in place -- things like the stress test which i think has turned out to be incredibly useful primarily because it brought private capital back into the financial system. i think our housing program -- all of those have been important so i think it is inevitably going to be hard to disentangle, you know, which ones, you know, were the most effective. i think the truth is the package was incredibly important. in terms of the question of, you know, identifying multipliers, i see -- i see work here for macroeconomists for many generations. i think -- you know, we are just starting -- you know, one of the -- it's both a blessing and a curse that council of economic advisors has to report to each quarter to congress on the effect of the recovery act. and so we have a little cottage
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industry of trying to disentangle the various pieces and what they've been doing. one of the things that i mentioned was the study on state fiscal relief because that's -- the gold standard for an economist is to try to look for some variation to say here was a change in spending that was not related to were you more depressed than some other area. and so i think that has been -- it's actually a study that's on the cea website but i think that's been a very good one in that particular area. i think that's important because i would have said last year the state fiscal relief is one of the places where there was the most uncertainty. we hadn't tried it very much. and so i think any evidence that we -- you know, i think it's very much informing where we're going in the future and saying that's an important piece because we do think it has worked particularly well. but it is going to be an ongoing thing and something we're going to keep -- going to keep looking at. sure. let's move up here.
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>> given the history of the entitlement programs particularly medicare as both the driver of the long-term instability of the fiscal and some believe the driver of inflation in the healthcare sector itself, how do you -- how would you address or counter the skeptics that say an increased entitlement in the form of a large subsidy will, therefore, yield lower healthcare inflation over the long run? it seems to be contradictory. >> all right. so i think the answer is you need to -- what matters is how you do the entitlement and do you do it well? and i think exactly what the healthcare reform legislation that the president has been supporting and helping to shape tries to put in place what professional, you know, health analysts economists across the
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spectrum will say things that will slow the growth rate of cost. the key thing -- you really have to look at the guts i guess of what's being proposed. things like the independent medicare advisory board again create an institutional framework where someone is looking at the medicare plan -- the medicare system year after year and saying what's the new thing that we've learned that we ought to be doing more of? what are some of the, you know, the cost containment mechanisms that we think will work? and having it be something that has a chance of getting in place and actually getting done. you know, i think one of the things that, you know, i got -- people thought it was very funny last year when i said i slept with the cbo healthcare options at my bedside table because they had basically 118 ideas of how you're going to slow the growth rate of healthcare costs largely in the government programs. and there are lots of good ideas out there. we need to make sure that they get into practice. i think the president's very
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brave support on the excise tax on high priced insurance plans is one of the key things again economists across the ideological spectrum say is something that will genuinely slow the growth rate of healthcare costs not just in the government program but also in the private sector. and then if you just go through and look at just the hundreds of delivery reforms that people have been talking about, where there are -- they're contained in the legislation i think what you're going to see there is -- you know, it's basically all about how do you do this thing? and do you have the right kind of changes in place? we are absolutely committed to doing that. yes. >> well, it's a good prop. >> i can hear you. >> i would like to express the frustration of community banks. one in particular that i know i'm representative of a broader community.
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and, you know, we wonder if anybody is listening to the community banks because what is killing -- what is killing us are two things. the latest round of bank examinations has raised our capital requirements above the -- what has been the long traditional rate so that we have actually in our particular bank, we've actually had to shrink our lending to meet the new regulatory capital requirements, which is quite cross-purposes with what you're proposing with providing capital at the costs of 5.5% on preferred stock, something like that if it's like t.a.r.p. >> no, actually the key thing is it is lower and goes and it goes down the more small business lending you do. it very much feeds on this -- i think you can get the rates down to 1.5% with very aggressive lending programs. >> we will welcome that. that's a good idea.
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>> we heard you so just for the record. [laughter] >> you said i listened last year. we have been listening all year but go ahead. >> we are still smarting at the examiners running across-purpose at fiscal policy. across-the-board regardless of the state of a particular bank. the other thing is that we have been hammered by new requirements to pay new premiums on deposited premiums. this also has to come from someplace. it obviously comes from lending. so one of the things i would propose is that perhaps instead of -- instead of the capital infusion perhaps there's some sort of subsidy of deposit insurance chvks is needed. -- which, of course, is needed. i'm not arguing that the fdic
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doesn't need more funding in current circumstances but maybe it shouldn't also come out of the hides of the banks, particularly the bank that had nothing to do with precipitating this crisis. >> thank you so much. and again one of the reasons i chose to highlight our programs for getting for capital in small banks is precisely for the reasons you said. that we do realize that community banks have really -- you're on the front lines. you're the people that loan to the small businesses that we know have to come back to create jobs. independent bystanders in financial crisis that has been incredibly painful for all of us. on your bank examiner point, you know, of course, you have realized that bank regulators are independent as they should be. and it is going to -- but it is certainly something that we have heard and, you know, one of the reasons why we want to make sure that there is a program for
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getting capital into the small banks at a very reasonable price. so i'm really going to encourage you to look at the program because i think it's going to be very much designed. putting it outside of t.a.r.p. trying to make it, you know, something that small banks would actually want and something that will not come with some of the restrictions that were appropriate for the big firms that played a major role in the crisis but not for the small banks that are just trying to help this economy get going again. we'll go up here and then i'll go to you. >> i appreciate very much your comments about the recovery measures. and i appreciate very much about the focus on the long-term deficit. you passed over very quickly in chapter 5 of a document about what might happen about the causes of the current financial crisis. it seems to me like all these recovery measures that are being taken probably wouldn't be necessary and wouldn't be cost-effective if we had a very steady growth pattern without this financial disaster.
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so my question is, could you return -- or come back for a moment about describing some of the major causes of just fiscal and financial disaster in the last couple of years? and then the reason for that is to focus on the future and what's being done about regulatory reform and what's being done to make sure we don't have another disaster like this in another 10 years. thank you. >> i swear i did not plant that question. [laughter] >> i couldn't agree with you more. so first, you know, again it's chapter 2 of the economic report. [laughter] >> that talks about the sources of the -- of the crisis. and points out how disturbances in the financial markets played absolutely an essential role in causing this horrible two years that we have been living through and it actually goes through what i talked some in my talk this morning about, you know, we had so much discussion last year about main street versus wall street. if there's anything we've
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learned from this crisis, those two are so thoroughly interconnected. what happens on main street brought us all down throughout the country. so it is absolutely an essential part of the story of what we've been through. it also goes to what i said at the very end, you know, we have -- there has been discussion of have we tried to do too much this year? and exactly -- i didn't even list the one that you said which is another major thing that we're trying to do is financial regulatory reform precisely because, you know, we don't ever want to go through this again. i think one of the things that's also struck me is the degree to which memories are already fading, right? after the sheer devastation that hit this economy that people aren't still sitting there saying we've got to get regulatory reform done. we've got to make sure that banks are adequately capitalized. we've got to make sure that someone is watching every
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systematically important institution whether it calls itself a bank or something else. we need to put in place regulations to make sure that consumers -- we proposed a whole consumer financial protection agency to make sure that there's one place in the economy that's only watching out for consumers so that they're not taking on risks that they can't bear and things like we saw in the subprime mortgage crisis. i couldn't questionably that's an important part of this and it's important when we come through this -- you know, come through this crisis, how do we make sure that we're stronger than we were before? and absolutely put in place a sensible regulatory reform is absolutely essential. >> there's a lot of discussion among economists about the vicissitudes of the business situation. that main street did something wrong. wall street is greedy. we need to focus on what people are doing. their ethics are bad and so forth. my feeling is the depth of this
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crisis and it's a fundamental crisis was caused by bad policy on terms of monetary policy in 2003, 2004, 2005. terrible fiscal policy as we know at least for eight years. and regulatory policy which was a disaster. so i guess my question still remains a focus on the particular causes by policymakers, not greed among the people and not businessmen and wall street doing bad things. i'm not saying they should be exonerated. i'm saying if i see -- if i see a cop watch a crook and the crook gets by and the does nothing i'm more upset with the cop than the crook. i'm saying is why can't we focus more on the cop and that means the regulations and the policymakers? >> so i will certainly -- i mean, i think your basic point that what you need are good rules of the road, right? that, you know, we are -- do have very strong beliefs in a market system but something like
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your financial markets you need to have in place a sensible set of rules of the road. i couldn't agree more. and you will get no argument from me that fiscal policy -- the fiscal situation that we find ourselves in truly was something that has been developing for many years, right? that we have known that there was this looming fiscal crisis for a very long time and policymakers on both sides of the aisle have not faced up to it. and i think, you know, in particular when you think about what we have been through, right, the fact that we were constrained in what we could do on the fiscal side precisely because we had run big budget deficits in very good times i think is really something that is a terrible indictment for what policymakers did. so i agree with you very much in those. all right? let's see. i had promised you. so let's do two more and i'm going to need to run. [inaudible]
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>> can you share with us the administration's intention on the sunset of the tax credits and whether or not they want to see that change? and if you have any opinions to tell us about this home buyer tax credit it was on then it was off then it was extended. it seems to me that's precisely a little bit of the previous question. and has the administration said anything publicly to extend the tax credit and let it expire as planned in the context in the tax rates in 2011. >> lots of questions there. the first thing is to talk about the recovery act because the recovery act was explicitly temporary. most of that spending is in 2009/2010 and very much the plan the way it's supposed to work is that it was holding up demand when the private sector wasn't there. and what we're hoping is that
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the private sector comes back and fills in that hole. and, you know, we're starting to see the signs. i'm sure you've been talking about consumers are starting to come back to life. business investment is starting to come back to life. the whole question is going to be is it strong enough for when that goes off? that is certainly part of why in the administration's budget as i mentioned we do have, you know, additional fiscal measures targeted jobs initiatives, continuing some of the relief provisions of the recovery act. we want to extend those 'cause we do think the economy needs more assistance certainly in 2010 and 2011. in terms of the first time home buyers tax credit that was one where it was a policy we thought was helping, you know -- helping the housing market. it did get extended and i agree with a certain amount of drama it seemed to go with many of the things we tried to pass but it certainly is there and we're certainly hoping that it's going
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to be holding up, you know, home purchases as we go forward. on the sun setting of the bush tax cuts, the 2001 and 2003, you know what the president has said is he thinks a reasonable policy is to legality the high income, those for people earning more than $250,000 a year expire as planned but as certainly stated his commitment to not raising taxes on the backs of middle class families. so that is certainly what is in our budget as we go forward. yeah. >> thank you. you mentioned the health economists across the i don't recall spectrum agree that the tax on high cost on premiums will -- [inaudible]
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>> so okay. yes. >> we all learned in our first macroeconomic class the breaks increases. we are expected in this particular case since that tax only applies at a price above a certain threshold that will encourage people to get less generous health plans to which the tax does not apply. however, the -- that same healthcare reform bill that the president supports includes numerous provisions such that will force health plans to become more generous and increase their premiums. there are extreme limits on cost-sharing which will push more of the cost out of cost-sharing and into the premium. there are mandated coverage for numerous types of services, some of which with no cost-sharing, whatsoever. particularly preventive care all of these will serve to increase premiums, push more health plans perhaps eventually all health plans above the point where the
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40% tax applies which will, of course, in that region bend the cost curve upward not downward increasing premiums and increasing total expenditures on health without improving the amount of care that's delivered. >> let me answer those. so certainly what i will tell you is many distinguishing health economists across the ideological spectrum obviously not all but i will tell you that it is one of the things that i think most people think is going to be incredibly helpful. one of the things you have to realize is healthcare is not a normal competitive market. the whole reason that the government is involved in this market is because we know it is one with lots of problems of asymmetric information, adverse selection, you know, it is a complicated market. and that's why it is something where there is a legitimate role for government. what the analysis suggest is that putting a tax on high priced -- you know, what we know
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now is health insurance benefits are getting a subsidy, right, so that we're subsidizing it and that's something that tends to increase usage and things like that. and so, you know, i think the whole ideas, in fact, that by -- again, we're talking about putting an excise tax on very high priced plans. the president's proposal is not for plans that cost $27,000 per year for a family. >> could it eventually be all plans -- [inaudible] >> okay. can we also just be very clear right when i talked about slowing the growth of healthcare costs this is not just the council of economic advisors. this is not the administration. this is the congressional budget office. this is the joint committee on taxation that says that the proposals that we've put in place as a package absolutely one of the reasons we are moving forward as a package is that the delivery reforms that we've talked about, some of the
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investments in health information technology that we've talked about, things that we're doing in the medicare program that we think will spill over to the private sector -- that package as a whole are going to slow the growth rate of healthcare costs and that's going to be something that's going to be important for the private sector as well as the public sector so i think it is one that, in fact, is probably -- if you survey economists the one that we think is probably going to be one of the key drivers. with that i think i'm going to need to let you all go to your next meeting. so thank you. [applause] >> so we need to proceed downstairs. the sessions starts at 9:30 so we need to move orderly to the elevators. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> we'll have more for the national association for business economics as the group hears from caterpillar's ceo jim owens. that's here on c-span2. underway at this hour a budget hearing for fiscal year 2011. senate arm services committee hearing from the heads of the u.s.-european command, u.s.-africa command and the joint forces command follow that now on c-span3 and coming up in just a bit food and drug administration commissioner margaret hemberg talks about her
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department's budget for the fiscal year 2011. that will be live beginning at 10:00 am eastern over on c-span. >> this weekend booktv is heading west with live coverage from the tucson festival of
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books. >> the tucson festival of books this weekend on c-span2's booktv. for more information go to booktv.org. >> over 1,000 middle and high school students entered this year's c-span studentcam documentary competition with a short video on one of our country's greatest strengths or a challenge the country is facing. we'll announce the 75 winners on march 10th and show you their winning videos on studentcam.org. >> and now environmental protection agency administrator lisa jackson on her agency's work over the past year including the regulation of carbon emissions under the clean air act.
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from the national press club, this is about an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. my name is allen. i'm a reporter for bloomberg news and a president of the national press club we're the world's leading professional organization for journalists and are committed to our profession's future and foster a free press worldwide. noting today's speaker we powered wind power for our needs. for more information about the national press club please visit our website at www.press.org to donate to our programs please visit www.press.org/library. on behalf of our members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker and attendees at today's event which includes guests of the speaker as well as working journalists. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences.
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after the speech concludes i will ask as many questions as time permits. i'd now like to introduce our head table guests. from your right bob, deputy administrator for the epa. neil roland of automotive news. diana, washington correspondent for the milwaukee sentinel. andrew snyder associate editor for kiplinger and chairman of the national press club committee skipping over our speaker we have allison fitzgerald investigative report for bloomberg news and a committee member who organized today's event. darren samuelson senior reporter for environment and energy policy. herb jackson of the record of bergen county new jersey and depka of clean skies news. our speaker today is at the center of a lot of interesting issues of today's washington.
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epa administrator lisa jackson who in december declared greenhouse gas emissions a threat to the public welfare is being criticized by senators and congressmen from both parties and is being sued by at least three states. she's at the center of the debate between those who think the government should require businesses to cut global warming emissions and those who say such a move would harm an already fragile economy. senator jay rockefeller and several fellow democrats are asking her to wait two years before regulating carbon emissions they say will harm their coal-producing states. republican senators led by lisa merkowski of alaska want to go further and stop her from ever regulating such emissions. the governors of texas, virginia, and alabama meanwhile have all sued her claiming her plans will kill jobs. in response, ms. jackson has agreed to delay regulating carbon emissions until the end of the year. still she plans to go ahead and issue rules for greenhouse gas emissions by next months congress has failed to create a
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cap-and-trade program to cut global warming emissions. global warming isn't her only issue, of course. in her first year at epa, ms. jackson's agency set the first new national smog rules in 35 years and is now reviewing the rules governing chemical use for the first time in three decades. she set to finalize next month new miles per gallon rules on cars and she finalized rules to cut cargo ship pollution by 80%. jackson is the first african-american to serve as epa administrator. before leading epa, she was chief of staff to new jersey governor jon corzine and commissioner of that state's department of environmental protection. please welcome to the national press club, epa administrator lisa jackson. [applause] lisa jackson. [applause] >> thank you so much for that provocative introduction. [laughter]
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and in afternoon, everyone. i happen to be a little bit sleep deprived this afternoon. like a lot of you, i was up watching the oscars last night. if any of you so much with your feet, you know i predicted "avatar" to win best picture, so i missed the mark on that one a little bit. but even if the movie with the environmental message did not win, i was so proud to see best picture go to the movie with the woman director. today i am happy to have a chance to bring you the best of both of those >> today i'm happy to have a chance to bring you the best of both of those two experiences for our speech today. and as i get into my speech i ask you to remember that the movie with the environmental message has actually made a lot of money. [laughter] >> i truly am grateful for the opportunity to speak about how the good people at the environmental protection agency have been making history. we've restored the rightful place as size as the first
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factor in all of our decisions. we developed and implemented rules that will protect children, keep people healthy, and save lives. and will take a long overdue action on climate change including a revolutionary that greenhouse gas endangers public wealth and health there. on that last point, the overwhelming scientific evidence was recently met with arguments that washington, d.c. experienced an unprecedented blizzard and record snowfall this winter. in this unexpected change in our climate somehow disproves climate change. today, i want to talk about a misconception that threatens to do more harm to our progress as a nation than carping over climatize. that's a misconception we must make a choice between cleaning up our environment and our growing economy. i've worked in environmental protection for 20 years, i've
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seen meaningful environmental efforts met time again with predictions of lost jobs and revenue. lobbyists and business journals have done such a good job of integrating it into our way of thinking that many of us believe sadly that we must choose between our economy and our environment. the people in my line of work haven't done the best job of communicating our side of this debate. we lost the messaging war and we have to do work to present the alternative. but it helps that history and the facts bear us out. i'm here to show today the choice between the environment and the economy is, indeed, a false choice. well conceived effectively implemented environmental protection is good for economic growth. let me repeat that. environmental protection is good for economic growth. now don't get me wrong, and find the regulations are not free, but the money that's spent as an investment in our country and one that pays for itself.
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first, environmental protection makes us healthier. it eliminates contributed to costly and often deadly diseases like asthma, cancer and heart disease. my youngest son is one of 23 million americans with asthma. i know the financial and emotional burden of hospital visits and doctors appointments. when air is 30 or the water is contaminated and people are getting sick, those kind of health costs are multiplied by millions of families. and they are a burden to small businesses trying to provide health care to their workers. good environmental protection is critical to our health, and because of that, it's critical to our economy. second, environmental protection makes our communities more prosperous and our workforce more productive. those of you with kids in college will understand the words of a man who said to me, business come to committees like parents come to colleges. they look at the environment to make sure it's healthy.
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they look at the people to make sure they are getting what they need to thrive. they want to know that this place means a better future. and they don't put their money down if they don't like what they see. this is something we see all the time in our ongoing work on environmental justice. the idea that environmental degradation is an obstacle to economic prosperity is uphiller of the environmental justice movement. and in the place where new jobs are needed the most, environmental degradation is an entry barrier for new investments and business. it's what we see an inner-city for air pollution makes kids miss school and workers stay home. it's what we see on tribal lands were opened landfills are rampant, and tricking want is polluted. earlier this year i met with a tribal leader who told me that his community was facing 50% unemployment. it's what we see in greenville, mississippi, which is having trouble attracting jobs because their water, even though it meets federal safety standards, is brown in color.
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poison in the ground means poison in the economy. a week environment means a weak consumer base. and unhealthy air means an unhealthy atmosphere. for investments. not a clean, green healthy community is a better place to buy home and raise a family. it's more competitive in the race to attract new businesses, and it has the foundation it needs for prosperity. these are two reasons why our environment is essential to our economy. but what i want to focus on today is the vital role environmentalism place for a critical driver of our economic success. our capacity for innovation and invention. just yesterday, thomas friedman wrote that america still has the best innovation culture in the world. he immediately followed that by saying, but we need better policies to nurture it. this is what smart environmental protection does. it creates a need. in other words, the market for
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clean technology, and then it drives innovation and invention. in other words, new products for the market. this is our convenient truth. smart environmental protection create jobs. now that might be a difficult idea for some folks to handle. so before i go any further, let me lay out some common ground. everyone wants a clean environment. 10 out of 10 republicans surveyed want clean air to breathe. 10 out of 10 democrats think safe water is important. ask all 20, and they would actually agree. as a "boston globe" editorial put it last week, even antigovernment protesters know it is no fun having a tea party with contaminated water. [laughter] >> i receive as many letters some red states as i do from blue states. from new bedford, massachusetts, to tar creek, oklahoma. last year in a minute for epa to locate residents away from lead
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pollution in kansas was sponsored by republican senators brownback, roberts, even my good friend, senator james inhofe. senator roberts called one of the rare instances of true bipartisan support. oftentimes, the same offices that are blasting our press releases on the overreach of faceless epa bureaucrats are also asking those same bureaucrats for help. that's a textbook example of irony. it's all too evident in today's politics. when it comes to people's health, everyone strong environmental protection. everyone also wants a strong economy. we all want robust job growth. no one favors higher cost for starting businesses or manufacturing products. i have to teenage sons, which means i buy a lot of stuff. i am an active and american consumer. in the last thing i want to see our higher prices for food or utility bills or shoes or clothes. so we all want a clean
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environment, and we all want a strong economy. but you may not realize is that we have all seen proof that we can have both. in the last 30 years, the emissions of six dangerous air pollution that causes smog, acid rain, lead poisoning, and more, decreased 54%. at the exact same time, gross domestic product grew by 126%. that means we've made huge reductions in air pollution at the same time that more cars went on the road, more power plants went online, and more buildings went up here the question is, how does that happen? the answer is innovation. innovation is the sweet spot. is what our economic and environmental interests me. it's what business leaders and conservationists can come together to hash out solutions, solutions that have filled american is with environment achievements and help us lead the global economy. america is home to a world
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leading environmental technology industry. by conservative estimates in 2007, environmental firms and small businesses in the u.s. generated $282 billion in revenues, and $40 billion in exports. supported 1.6 mode american jobs. and that number doesn't include all the engineers and professional services firms that support those businesses. take for example, new jerseys in the large corporation which led to commercial production of the catalytic converter. if you drove your today your car had a catalytic converter in it to burn unless a gasoline. today those things are standard, but 30 years ago when epa used the clean air act to phase-in unleaded gas in catalytic converters, they were extremely controversial. many major automakers oppose them. the chamber of commerce claim, and i go, entire industries might collapse. using the clean air act in this
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way was said to be a poison pill for our economy. something that sounds all too familiar a round washington today. yet the auto industry survived. dangerous lead pollution in our air is 92% lower than it was in 1980. by 1985, the reduction of lead and are invited had estimated benefits of $17 billion per year. the initial cost of the rule was payback 10 to 13 times over. and in 2006, the corporation was bought for $5 billion. that's just one good example of how it works. a new environment world lead to new innovations which led to new jobs. now, those of you too young to remember the switch to catalytic converters may remember the phaseout of ozone depleting cfcs. remember cfcs? they were the chemicals in aerosol cans, and other products that led to a growing hole in the ozone layer.
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i read a lot of people wondering if they're going to have to give up hairspray, or their deodorant and not being too happy about it. and they weren't the only unhappy ones. the chemical industry predicted severe economic disruption. refrigeration companies forecasted shutdowns of supermarket coolers and children machines used to cool office buildings, hotels and hospitals. companies that use cfcs and manufactured with the transition would be next to impossible. the doom and instruction never came to pass. refrigerators and air conditioners state on. when innovators took up the manufacturing challenge, they found alternatives that work better than cfcs. some develop new technologies that cut costs while actually improve productivity and quality. and i'm a king their products better and cleaner, the american refrigeration industry actually gain access to overseas opportunities. these examples speak to a long history of innovation, new jobs and better health, through environmental protection.
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yet many still claim the regulation is too costly and believe that scaling back is the best thing for growth. we have already seen that in action. the theory that less regulation ought to be good for the economy was put to the test in the last administration. and in that time, there was no apparent benefit for businesses or consumers. prices on most products went up, and cost of fuel increased astronomically. any savings that may been expected for businesses certainly didn't translate into higher wages for american workers. in fact, the health impact for millions of americans suffering from asthma, cancer and heart disease, coupled with the steady rise in health insurance costs created yet another level of expense for families and businesses. today we are slowly but surely pulling up and out of the economic downturn. but many of our communities don't have what they need to
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rebuild. it's no accident that so much of the recovery act is environmentally focused, and no wonder that so much of it is based on clean energy innovation. the wind and solar and smart grid investments that have been made just in the last year. clean energy and committee clean up jobs in the recovery act are just the beginning. the question we face now is, what can we add epa do to protect our environment, strengthen our communities, and foster prosperity? one of the clear answers is abandoning the oldest disputes in working partnerships on new innovations. partnerships like the clean cars program which took shape when president obama brought together automakers, autoworkers, governors from across the country, and environmental advocates to craft an historic agreement. a clean car standards will mean 950 million tons of carbon pollution cut from our skies.
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$3000 in savings for drivers of clean cars, and $2.3 billion that can stay at home in our economy rather than buying oil from overseas. it will also mean new innovation. american scientists can step up to produce new composite materials that make cars lighter, safer and more fuel-efficient. our inventors and entrepreneurs can take the lead in advanced battery technology for plug-in hybrids and electric cars. and manufactures across the country can produce these new components which they can sell to automakers in the u.s. and around the globe. new environmental protections, new innovations, means new jobs. this is the direction we are moving and 2010 as well. epa is already proposed new smog reduction and finalize the first standard in 35 years. we're developing air pollution standards that we know will foster innovation, and were
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working in partnership with utility companies to figure out how we get there. we are boosting the production and use of advanced biofuels, to double our use of renewals, renewables and break our dependence on foreign oil. that will benefit rural communities, sparked new demand, and with clarity on where the regulations stand, promote investments in research to expand the effectiveness and uses of renewable biofuels. and, of course, we'll continue to face down our climate crisis and move into the clean energy future. as you might expect, we are running into the same old tired arguments. once again, industry and lobbyists are trying to convince us that change will be absolutely impossible. once again, alarmists are claiming that this will be the death of our economy. once again, they're telling us we have to choose, economy or environment. most drastically, we are saying
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efforts to further delay epa action to reduce greenhouse gases. this is happening, despite the overwhelming signs on the dangers of climate change, despite the supreme court 2007 decision that epa must use the clean air act to reduce the proven threat of greenhouse gases. and despite the fact that leaving this problem for our children to solve is an act of breathtaking negligence. supposedly, these efforts have been put forward to protect jobs. in reality, they will have negative economic effects. the clean cars program could be put on indefinite hold leading american otto magers once again facing a patchwork of state standards without a clear picture of greenhouse gas regulations, that would be little incentive to invest in clean energy jobs. america will fall farther behind our international competitors in the race for clean energy innovation.
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finally, the economic causes uncheck climate change will be orders of magnitude higher for the next generation than it would be for us to take action today. i can't in good conscience support any measure that passes that burden onto my two sons. or to their children. i find it hard to believe that any parent can say to their child we're going to wait to act. this debate also has us argue over something that the american people in many businesses have already decided on. recent years have seen a growing grassroots, grassroots of our middle that is directly tied to our economy. informed consumers are demanding more of their products. business leaders are recognizing cost savings potential of energy efficiency and sustainability, and they're putting serious money into innovation. this is a grassroots environmental movement that votes with its dollars. seven in 10 consumers say that they would choose brands that
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are doing good things for people and the planet. 74% believe that our companies should do more to protect our planet, and more than half of americans will look for environmentally friendly products in our next purchase. these changes are happening. and not on the margins of our economy. wal-mart, the largest retailer in the world, has set goals to use 100% renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell healthier sustainable products. two weeks ago they announced a plan to cut 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions across the lifecycle of the product in the next five years. they made the announcement via webcast on of all places, tree hugger.com. proctor and gamble, which produces tied into her cell and products that touch almost 3 billion people per day is planning an announcement next week encouraging all their brands to shrink their environmental footprint.
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a general mills factory in minnesota is recycling old holes from their cereal for biofuels and saving 500,000 out in fuel costs in the process. improperly named green giant is reducing pesticide and chemical water pollution with sustainable farming. these are companies we all know and use. timberland, nike, starbucks, best buy, and they'r they are responding to consumer demand. consumers want to know that their products don't have hidden health and environmental costs. companies must respond to parents to refuse to buy baby bottles with epa and them, with a league dangerous chemicals into their drinking water. industry can try to resist and ignore epa, but i know, and they know, that they resist the forces of the green marketplace at their peril. it's time to put to rest the notion that economic growth and environmental protection are incompatible. it's time to finally dismissed this false choice.
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we need a new approach number one the place to america's greatest strengths of ingenuity, invention and innovation. we need to reclaim the leadership in the development of new products that protect our health and our environment. and we need to capitalize on the growing green marketplace here and around the world. that approach would be a return to basics, which is appropriate for the epa in 2010 because of this year epa's 40th anniversary. when epa began four years ago, the first administrator, william d. ruckelshaus, wrote the technology which has bulldozed its way across the environment must now be employed to remove impurities from the air, to restore vitality to our rivers and streams, to recycle the waste that is the ugly byproduct of our prosperity. that is just as true now as it was then. we can't retreat from a rapidly industrialized planet and a global economy.
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we must integrate conservation and a passion for planetary stewardship into the global rush towards economic growth. on the same token, the laissez-faire and antigovernment crowd must understand that ever expanding economic opportunity is not possible without sustainability. without protection for the water and land that people depend on, we can only go so far. without clean energy the global economy will be running on empty within our lifetimes. it's time to stop denying that obvious truth. stop playing on the politics of delay and denial, and start thinking more broadly about what is going to help us all move forward together. which brings me to my final point. another piece of common ground we all share. we are all counting on the ingenuity and creativity of the american people. now, i'm done with a false choice between the economy and the environment. i want an epa that is a leader
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in innovation, innovations that protect our health and our environment, and expand new opportunities. i'm not interested in leading an agency that only tells us what we can't do. i want to work together on all the things we can do. this is about rising to meet our most urgent environmental and economic challenges, not shrinking from them. with the excuse that it's just too hard. that's never been a good enough answer for the american people. at no point in our history has any problem been solved by waiting another year to act, or burying our heads in the same. progress is made by seeing, and our greatest challenges, all the possibilities for building a healthier more prosperous future and bringing the best we have to offer to the table. it's what we've done before. it's what we have to do again today. it's not something wickedly for tomorrow. i want to thank you very much, and i am happy to take some questions.
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[applause] >> and thank you for your time, administrator jackson. as there is no surprise here her, there are numerous questions do with climate change on the first question if you will step up. and we will address the audience. wristing todd whitman was on c-span this warning, and she was saying that climate change debate is hopelessness at this point the are you for legislation should be entirely about clean air and not about climate change. are you concerned that recent controversy about climate change science will hurt chances for legislation this year? and do you think the climate message needs to be downplayed in favor of clean air speed? well, as head of the environment protection agency, i'm not going to be in favor of not giving the best sites to the american people. the science is absolutely
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crystal clear. there is surely an organized effort to sow doubt in people's mind and there's some indication that it may be working on some level. but as head of the epa i believe i have to continue to stand here and make it crystal clear that the science isn't unsettled. that we do know that our missions of greenhouse gases are taking living in our atmosphere and interfering with the way the atmosphere is supposed to work. what it's doing is changing our climate, and it means catastrophic problems for us going forward. so no, i can't as head of the epa certainly legislate a going to do what legislators do and politicians will do what they think is necessary to make progress. but what i hope is we all keep our eye on the ball here, which is to transition to cleaner energy. >> given epa's knowledge of the signs and its priorities, why hasn't the administration set legislative principle to capitol hill regarding its preferred approach on climate change?
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>> well, i don't think there's been a bigger cheerleader for transition to clean energy and the need for comprehensive clean energy legislation that president obama. and i joined him several times and will do again today, saying that we need congress to act. we've seen the u.s. house of representatives act, so now we are frankly waiting on the u.s. senate. and i believe the hope has been all along that the continuing efforts in the u.s. senate, and we have some continuing going on as a speaker today, will result in legislation that can pass that house and in a bill that the president can sign. >> is cap-and-trade the necessary system to slow climate change, or would it carbon tax or other methods work as well or better? >> that's a trick question. listen, you know, the truth of the matter is that, of course, people have varying ideas on how best to deal with climate change. and also, really how best to use
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the marketplace. my speech was about the marketplace, to incentivize the move to clean energy. we know right now that between lawsuits that exist today, they exist right now, forget the epa, and the fact that there is no price on carbon. if he sensually free to put as much carbon dioxide into the address you as you want, that there is a real chilling on the investment that needs to happen in clean energy technologies. the recovery act put a lot of money, public money, into clean energy technologies. this thing will not take off. the kind of innovation i just woke but not happen if we don't see private financing followed. as i do think there are other ways to put a price on carbon. clearly the president has talked a lot about the ease with which a cap-and-trade program fits into our economy, but i know those discussions continue. >> on the topic of market oriented mechanism, your agency's budget for fiscal year 2011 said that he be in once to examine this for cutting greenhouse gases. some have taken that to mean the
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agency might pursue comp , would epa tried to forge ahead with carbon trading if congress doesn't pass the cap-and-trade to? >> first i refused to speculate because i believe that congress will step up to this challenge. hopefully sooner rather than later. i do think that people are over reading a little bit of our budget language. epa has a history of relying on market-based incentives in our regulation as it is. and i don't think you should read into that that we have some plan that folks don't know about to enforce a cap-and-trade regime. we don't at all. but what i've been really strong about is, and i think you heard in this speech, the ability of the clean air act to be used reasonably and sensibly to help move the markets, to help drive innovation, to help bring along that transition to a clean energy economy, and i've gone further. i said the clean air act and its use right now can be entirely consistent with legislation to
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come. there's a reason we can't do that and keep an eye on what's happening on the legislative front, and make sure we don't get to a place where those are. >> following on your statement that cap-and-trade or carbon legislation will be passed soon or later, lets a company to plant in the bank later than say 2010. with a sector specific billboard areas such as utilities be possible this year to? >> well, there are all kinds of, i'm sure the questioner knows, all kinds of alternate plans the post hundred folks are talking about a. i think there's one principle that we need to keep in mind. energy truly does touch our entire economy in some way. and because so much of our energy is also fuel base, that means as we move to cleaner forms of energy, we're going to have to touch practically all of our economy. i think you will be very important as people look at all these alternatives to realize it when you move away, the more you move away from an economy wide approach, although you can make
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some progress, you i can do some opportunities to really harness that private sector investment to look at approaches that are win-win on all sides. and i think that that is the one issue that i know we have to do with when we start to narrow things. >> were going to leave the remainder of the program as the senate has convened for an hour of general speeches. than were present on a package to extend certain tax breaks, jobless benefits and cobra health insurance a. the measure includes other extensions such as medicare payments to physicians, plus highway and flood insurance programs. amendment votes are expected this morning, and later a test vote on the measure at about 2:30 p.m. eastern time. this is live senate coverage on c-span2. senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer.
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the chaplain: let us pray. gracious god, our shelter in the time of storm, hold our senators within your providential hand. guiding them from perplexity to wisdom. give them strength to overcome the challenges they face, enabling them to be true guardians of liberty. lord, keep them faithful in service, inspired by the knowledge that in due season they will reap if they persevere. give them a vision greater than
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they possess. that they may see clearly what you want them to accomplish. infuse them with the safe to realize that with you all things are possible. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 9, 2010. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jeff merkley, a senator from the state of oregon, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: robert c. byrd, presidet pro tempore. mr. reid: following morning business, we'll turn to morning business until 11:00 this morning. republicans will control the first half, the majority will control the second half. following morning business, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 4213, the tax extenders bill. there will then be a series of up to four roll call votes in relation to the amendments to the bill. those votes will start at 11:00. following the series of votes, the senate will recess until 2:15 p.m. in order to accommodate the weekly caucus
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meetings. at 2:30, the senate will proceed to a cloture vote on the substitute amendment. as a reminder, the filing deadline for accepting new amendments is 12:00 noon today. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the debate over health care has been going on for a long time now. it's easy to lose sight of where we started, so i would just like to remind people today of what this debate was supposed to be about. it was supposed to be about cost. this debate was supposed to be about bringing the costs of health care down, about keeping health care costs from bankrupting families and government. so if you're looking for a reason as to why americans overwhelmingly oppose this bill and why democrats are having such a hard time rounding up
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votes within their own party for this bill, it's because no one believes this bill will lower the cost of health care. it's that simple. now, when you hear people talk about the cost of health care, they are usually referring to three things -- the overall health care expenses americans will have to shoulder if the bill passes, overall spending by the federal government on health care if this bill passes, and the amount of money people will have to spend on health insurance premiums if this bill passes. on all three counts, the bill that the white house and its allies in congress want taos vote for would drive costs actually up. -- us to vote for would drive costs actually up. at the medicare and medicaid services, it says overall health care spending would go up by more than $200 billion underthey are bill. overall health care spending up up $200 billion under this bill, according to the administration.
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the independent congressional budget office says federal spending on health care will increase by about $200 billion over the next ten years. and c.b.o. also says health insurance premiums for millions of americans across the country will go up 10% to 13% as a result of all the new government mandates contained in this bill, and continue to rise at the current unsustainable rate for nearly everyone else, despite more than $2 trillion in new government spending. another thing americans are rightly concerned about is the debt. it's completely out of control. some say this bill lowers the debt, but let me remind my colleague that the extenders bill we'll be voting on today, the bill we will be voting on today, will add more to the debt than even the white house claims its health spending bill will
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save. let me say that again. the bill that we're going to pass today, the extender bill, will add more to the debt, will add more to the debt than even the white house claims its health spending bill will save. so if cost is what you're concerned about, then you can't vote for this bill. it's that simple. americans have it figured out. and that's why they are asking themselves why anyone in congress would even think about voting for this bill. this shouldn't even be a tough call. let's start over and work together on a step-by-step solutions process that focus on costs, that actually lowers costs, not the other way around. let's put together a bill americans will support. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, there will be a period of morning business until 11:00 a.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders, with the republicans controlling the first portion and the majority controlling the second portion. the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i just heard the republican leader talk about the issue of health care in america and the goal, which we heard so much about, of getting the cost of care under control. mr. president, i practiced medicine for 25 years in casper, wyoming, was in wyoming yesterday visiting with physicians, visiting with nurses, visiting with those who are patients as well as those who are providers and talking
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with them about what's happening in this country and in this body with the discussion about health care in america. and the legislation. and no matter who i talk with in wyoming, when they look at this massive 2,000-page bill and they think about it and then they ask questions about it, they say how in the world is this actually going to get the cost of care down? how is this going to help them save money? because as they read it and they look at the rules and the regulations and the new mandates for more bureaucracies, they say it's going to be more government employees at the time when there is more than 10% unemployment in the country. they say it is going to likely cause my own cost of health care to go up, my own insurance coverage to go up. and they have great concerns, mr. president, that the quality of their own care will go down,
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go down. americans and certainly the people in wyoming are very worried that if this bill becomes law, the cost of their care is going to go up, and the quality and availability of their care is going to go down. and that's not what they want. now, i saw on the front page of one of the papers this morning that the president was in philadelphia talking, and it said the president turns up the volume in bid for his health measure, and he says challenge to democrats, if not us, who? mr. president, i say it should be all of us. this should not be something that is being rammed through the house and the senate and force fed to the american people at a time when 75% of them want nothing to do with this bill. three out of four americans say
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stop, we don't want this because they are worried about the cost of their own care and the availability and the quality of the care that they are receiving. so when the president gives his speech as he did yesterday, i would say involve all of us, involve all of us in the discussion, which is what we should have been doing for over a year. now, i look at what he said in his speech, and he talked about an insurance broker who apparently told some others that there was so little competition -- this is the president now talking, saying there is so little competition in insurance that it allows people to drive up the cost. the solution to that is the republican solution that says increase the competition, increase the competition. that's what we need. patients, people, citizens of this country want to be able to shop around, buy insurance across state lines, look for what is best for them and best for their families, and if we did that, if we did that today, there would be 12 million more
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americans with insurance by merely being allowed to have more competition, to be able to shop across state lines, and to look around for something that is best for them and for their families, not the limited choices they may have in the state in which they happen to live. so i look at this from the standpoint of practicing medicine for 25 years, visiting with patients, visiting with providers, talking with nurses, talking with doctors, and -- and saying there are things we can do to get down the cost of care. unfortunately, they are not included in this 2,000-page bill that is now sitting over in the house with all of these different approaches to force this through in a way that undermines, undermines what the american people want, what the american people are asking for, the opinions of the american people by a group of people that say -- in this body that say we know better than the american people. this body doesn't know better than the american people. the house does not know better than the american people.
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it's time to listen to the american people, which is why i go home every weekend to visit with those folks in my state, in my home state in wyoming, to visit with them about their needs, their concerns. they have great concerns about this bill. now, it's not just people in my home communities. warren buffet, the great investor, says that washington should scrap this health care bill and start over, and he said they should fowf -- focus, as our republican leader said a few minutes ago, on the costs. he said we're going to say we're going to focus on the costs and not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things. warren buffet says get rid of the nonsense. this bill is loaded with nonsense. this bill is loaded with nonsense. and nonsense is going to drive up the cost of care and decrease the quality of care in this country. so we have now been going through this for a year.
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the president is out trying to make an appeal to the nation to say yeah, buy this package that i'm trying to sell. the american people are too smart for that. they realize that this package cuts $500 billion from medicare. patients who depend on medicare for their health care, care, $500 billion in medicare cuts. and part of it is to hospitals and part of it is to a program called medicare advantage, and there are 10 million americans on medicare advantage. and the reason they sign up for this, they choose this because there is an advantage for them as seniors to participate in this program because this is a program that actually works with preventative care, with coordinating care. things that regular medicare doesn't do. and they are going to cut over over $100 billion from our nursing homes and money from home health, which is a lifeline for people at home. and they are going to cut money
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from hospice for people in their final days of life. that's part of this big bill that the president is supporting and that he's asking the house to vote for, and it's a bill -- and it's a bill that raises taxes by another $500 billion. and it's a bill that the house is going to be asked to pass that includes every one of the sweetheart deals, because their first act in the house is going to have to be to have passed the bill that the senate passed on christmas eve, and that includes all of the sweetheart deals, whether it's to nebraska or louisiana or florida. 13 different senators had sweetheart deals put into that bill that the democrats are going to be asked to vote for because the republicans see through this whole thing. so the only opposition -- the opposition to this is bipartisan. it is bipartisan opposition. those who support it is one party only. we are looking now at a mandate wherever american is going to be
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forced to buy -- forced to buy a product, to buy insurance -- forced under this or they will either have to pay special taxes, have their wages garnished or pay a fine or a penalty. under this plan that the american people have thre -- the out of four have absolutely rejected. mr. president, i see that my colleague from arizona has taken to the floor. and i would ask him if he is hearing similar things when he goes home to arizona to visit with the people and what concerns he's hearing because there are certainly many seniors in the fine state of arizona. mr. kyl: mr. president -- and i appreciate my colleague asking -- there are 330,000 seniors in the state of arizona that rely on medicare advantage, and it is exactly as dr. barrasso said, a program that helps people with preventive care, with coordinated care, and with some of the things that aren't available under regular medicare
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-- vision care, audio care, and the like. and these benefits would be drastically cut under the proposal in this legislation. so they're naturally very much opposed to it. and i think arizona represents the second-largest state in terms of the number of seniors participating in medicare advantage. but the other part of this that concerns them is the fact that if it's such a good idea to eliminate this program for drastically curtail it, to be perfectly accurate, then why is it that in one state, the senator was able to get his citizens -- his senior citizens, who have medicare advantage programs, exempted from the bill. if it's such a twonderful -- if it's such a wonderful idea, why shouldn't it apply to everybody? but the seniors in florida would be grandfathered in their medicare advantage programs because they, of course, don't like these cuts anymore than seniors in arizona or wyoming or any other state. and so then this brings up the
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question, how can these provisions that are objected to by the american people be fixed in the process that's now been settled upon, this so-called reconciliation process? and if i could just address that for a moment, the author of this so-called reconciliation process is our esteemed colleague, the senior senator from west virginia, robert byrd. and here is what he had to say about using the process that he created, this reconciliation process, for the purposes of consideration of health care legislation. and i quote him from "washington post" march 22, 2009. "i'll certain that putting health care reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through congress is an outrage that must be resisted. using the reconciliation process to enact major legislation prevents an open debate about critical issues in full view of the public.
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health reform and climate change are issues that, in one way or another, touch every american family. the resolution carries a serious and economic consequence. the misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation, a process intended for deficit reduction, to enact substantive policy changes, is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the senate's institutional role." end of quote. now, that's what senator byrd had to say. and yet that's the process that has been selected by the democratic leaders to force this legislation through the congress. and the final point i'd like to make with respect to this is that i think that, to some extent, it may be a cruel hoax on some of our democratic colleagues in the house of representatives who are counting on the senate to back up the reconciliation bill that might be passed in the house of representatives. what they're assuming is that when they attempt to "fix" the senate bill that they don't like
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very much by amending it through this reconciliation process, and then sending that bill over to the senate, that the senate is simply going to pass the bill. and, voila, the bad senate bill has been fixed yo fixed, the prt can now sign the bill and we'll have health care reform. well, not so fast. the author of this byrd rule -- or reconciliation process all creates what is known around here as the byrd rule, which is if you go outside the narrow lanes of the reconciliation process and try to include things in the bill that don't belong in the reconciliation process, then it's of course subjected to a poirksd a point , as it should be. and it would take 60 senators to override that point of order. well, there are a lot of things that are going to be attempted to be fixed in the reconciliation bill that are
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subject to a point of order. the byrd rule -- those points of order will be upheld, because i'm going to predict to you that 41 republican senators are are not going to allow that misuse of the reconciliation process, going outside what is clearly a reconciliation process. which means that the bill that's passed in the house of representatives, if it is, would not be passed by the united states senate. key provisions of it would have been stricken on points of order, and then our friends in the house of representatives would be faced with the prospect that they'd already passed this bad senate bill that they don't like very much, and that i don't like very much, but the president can sign that into law and yet the process by which they would attempt to fix it has failed because of the points of order that can be raised and that will be raised and that will be sustained, as should be the case under the application of the so-called byrd rule. so when my colleague from
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wyoming talks about his constituents in wyoming objecting not only to the substance of the bill but also the process by which it's been handled, i can answer the answer the question, yes, i met with a whole bunch of people from different states this weekend, from pennsylvania, from california, from new jersey, from new york, i visited with folks from literally all over the country, and they had the same objections, both as to the substance of the legislation, but they were also very curious about this reconciliation process because they had heard that it could be used to ram the bill through on a process that it was never intended to, and they wanted to talk about that. and when we explained the fact that the legislation adopted by the house, if it is, would not necessarily be adopted in the senate but would be subject to these points of order and, by the way, amendments, an unlimited number of amendments, then at least they understood
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why house democrats who will insist on amending the senate bill should not rely on the united states senate to do their bidding. that isn't going to happen. and so i appreciate -- and let me just say one other thing before i turn it back over to my colleague from wyoming. it has been such a learning experience for us and anen expiration to have a couple -- and an inspiration to have a couple of physicians in the united states senate. dr. barrasso is an orthopedic surgeon from wyoming and dr. coburn, from oklahoma. there are ways that care can be give nona less expensive way but retaining the default of care and that intangible but incredibly important, almost
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sacred relationship with the patient. it is key for the rest of us to understand how this process really works when physicians sit down with patients and determine the best course of action for their care that can both be the least expensive and yet still deliver the quality care that their patients deserve. i think we ought to pay more attention to the advice this they have provided to us, and i commend both senator barrasso and also dr. coburn for the advice that they've given to us, and i hope we'll continue to listen to that advice as if debate unfolds. mr. barrasso: and i would say to my colleague from arizona, where there is actually a mayo clinic, as there is in florida and in minnesota. you would think as the president talks about the mayo clinic being a model for health care in the country, that the mayo clinic might agree with what the president had to say. but if you go to the mayo
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clinic's blog, they say, "the proposed legislation misses the opportunity" -- we have an opportunity now -- "misses the opportunity to help create high-quality, more affordable health care for patients." in fact, the mayo clinic says, "it will do the opposite." so here you are. the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. it will, it will do the opposite. -- in fact, it will do the opposite. mr. kyl: if my colleague will yield for a quick comment on that point. the mayo clinic in arizona, unfortunately, has had to announce that in several of its key facilities there it will no longer accept new medicare patients. now, why is that so? because the government program of medicare, which our seniors rely on, is getting to the point where it does not pay physicians what they require just to stay
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in business, just to have their office practice continue. and the medicaid program, which is the other government program, is already so low in its reimbursements to physicians that is -- the numbers differ, but 50% to 60% of physicians are no longer taking medicaid patients. so that as a result, these government programs end up getting very clees close to rationing care because -- getting very close to rationing care becaus. imposing yet another entitlement for people to have this care with fees regulated by the federal government and reimbursements at levels too low for physicians to take advantage of will simply continue to drive physicians away from the treatment of the patients that they have treated over the years and want to continue to treat. and it would be our hope that we could create the incentive for physicians to continue to treat these patients rather than the
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disincentives that the mayo complk is pointing to -- that the mayo clinic is pointing to you in backing out. mr. coburn: one of the points you made a moment ago is a doctor sitting down and listening to their patient. mayo is right. if you're not going to pay us enough to sit down, we refuse to practice medicine in the way that medicare is directing us to practice: listen a little bit and then cover it with tests. the reason costs are out of control is because medicare won't pay for a physician to sit down and truly listen and come to a centered point on what the patient's problem is and the way to get around it. and so, consequently, what we have seen in the medicare program is doctors have to see so many patients that they don't get to listen to them and they consequently cover that lack of listening by ordering more tests. and what do we know about tests? we know that we order a quarter
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of a trillion dollars worth of tests every year that aren't needed. and the reason we're ordering them is -- there's two. one, the reimbursement to sit down and listen to the patient is so low that the doctors can't take the time. he cover it with tests. the other is tort litigation. if we want to change health care, we have to drive costs down. and i'm proud that mayo recognizes -- we're not going to sacrifice our quality. therefore, we're going to say, no, we are a not goin -- we're g to take anymore new patients because we can't do did in a way that lends a quality outcome at an appropriate cost. mr. kyl: mr. president, i remember sitting back in the cloakroom and listening to dr. coburn one evening talk about how he treats patients that come into his office. a child he said comes in that's had a fall on the playground and the parents are concerned and dr. coburn said to me, you know,
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if i just sit down and talk to that young man, that child, talk to his parents for a while, he said, i can usually figure out what kind of treatment is going to be necessary here without necessarily ordering a bunch of tests. but under the medical malpractice situation that we have to work under today, i'm almost required to order those tests or, if something should go wrong, be accused of malpractice. i wonder if my colleague could relay that story. mr. coburn: every summer we have thousands of kids hit the e.r. whether they ran into a pole or had a baseball bang them in the head, the standard of care now is to put the child through a c.t. scan. and that's -- these are children -- the vast majority of which have no neurological signs whatsoever -- but now we're not only spending that $1,200 per child, we're exposing those children to raid dwhraition they don't need. so there's two untoward events for what has happened as we see
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the hijacking of medicine by the trial bar. someoneone is we spend a whole e money. and number two, we're straite sg to hurt people by exposing tom m to radiation they don't need. we know we can bring down costs if we change the tort system in this country to one that is sensible and reasonable and still allows, when doctors make mistakes, for them to be compensated for their economic damages and the tharm that was caused to them. -- and the harm that was caused to hem. what we're saying is it should be appropriate and is it should be in a have en yow that represents the -- in -- in a venue that represents the real risk without disturbing the practice of medicine because we can't afford t the children who are getting these tests, their bodies can't afford it. so it -- so it is just common sense that we go that way. i wonder if the senator would yield right for a moment before we go in and lose our time, that i might discuss the amendment that we will have up in just a
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moment? mr. kyl: might i inquire how much time remains on the republican side? the presiding officer: three minutes and 15 seconds remain. mr. coburn: i would ask unanimous consent to take that time if i might. the presiding officer: is there an objection? hearing none. mr. coburn: we're going to have an amendment on the floor in just a moment that simply requires the senate to post, every time they create a new program and every time they spend money outside of paygo, so that we truly are transparent with the american people about what we're doing. you know, with great fanfare, we passed the paygo. we made it a statute, and the last three bills in a row we have allocated up to to $120 billion outside of paygo. with all the claims, without all the fanfare that we said we're going to now start paying for everything we do, the first three bills to come before the senate, what do we do?
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we simply say rules off, doesn't counseled, we're going to spend our grandkids' money. and for the life of me, i don't understand the controversy around this amendment. it's about us being transparent with the american people. no more games. no more saying we're doing one thing and doing another. all this amendment says is when we violate our own rules and we spend money we don't have and we don't pay for programs by eliminating programs that aren't effective, that aren't a priority, that we're going to list it on our website. nothing could be simpler. we have offered the secretary of the senate, our staff, to do that work. it takes about five minutes a day to post that and probably five minutes every third or fourth day. we will happily pay for that or we will offer one of our staff to put that information on the computer. we're going to have a side by side that does nothing. we understand that. that gives the people a way to not vote for our amendment. but if you want to solve the
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problems in america and you want to solve our financial problems, the first thing you have got to do is have the real information about what this body is doing. that amendment will do that, and i yield back the balance of our time. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that my amendment numbered 3431 be in order when we return to h.r. 4213, and up to ten minutes to speak regarding that amendment. mr. coburn: mr. president? the presiding officer: is there an objection? mr. coburn: mr. president, i object on behalf of the managers who are not present here at this time. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. i still ask for up to ten minutes to speak on behalf of this amendment, even though the objection has been heard and registered. the presiding officer: the
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senator may speak. mr. nelson: mr. president, the amendment that i rise today to speak on is straightforward. it would provide an offset for all nonemergency provisions included in the bill h.r. 4213. the amendment would direct the office of management and budget to rescind $35 billion in unobligated american recovery and reinvestment act funds on a prorated basis. the amendment would exclude military construction and veterans affairs stimulus funding from the rescission. this rescission would offset all remaining nonemergency items in the american workers state and business relief act, which is h.r. 4213. as a result of my amendment, all provisions in the bill would be paid for minus the emergency extension of unemployment insurance and cobra. now, my colleagues on the other
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side of the aisle just made the best case i've heard for this amendment. they raised concerns about the underpayments for medicare and medicaid patients and patient care. doctors would be -- in this underlying bill have their fees increased for payment purposes so that the concerns that were raised by my colleague from arizona would be -- would be in part answered by the increased payments that the mayo clinic was not receiving and therefore made the decision to reduce their care to -- to medicare patients. so it seems to me that that would be appropriate to support this bill. i suspect they won't, but it would seem appropriate to support this bill then, and also support having it paid for under
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paygo rules applying to the unused stimulus funds that are -- that would be available through this act. if we're going to see that medicare patients are treated and are not excluded from treatment, it's going to be because they -- the providers are adequately compensated, and that's one of the provisions of this bill. what we're seeking to do is to make sure that that is paid for, among other things. the states have -- the governors of the states have come to us and said they can't -- they can't afford to make their part of the medicaid match that they are required to make under the medicaid program that's approved in virtually every state. as a result of that, a good portion of this bill is seeking money to pay the states, compensate them for that -- that unfunded mandate that the states
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are currently facing. in other words, they come annandale they say you forced us to do this, we don't have the money to do it and we're asking that you make it good, you pay for it. the challenge is if medicaid has decreased or payments to providers are decreased, then the concerns that they have raised about the medicaid program being underfunding of providers will be a self-sul filling prophecy. so it seems to me that there is an opportunity for the other side to take a very positive look at this particular bill. i can look at it positively if we pay for it. my concerns are that we pay for the nonemergency provisions within this bill. that we pay for the fmap fix, that we pay for the other parts
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of this bill minus the emergency extension of unemployment insurance in cobra. that would make us be consistent with the paygo rules that we have forced upon ourselves, i think appropriately so, but it's important that we follow the rules that we set for ourselves, and this is one of the ways that we do it, by paying for these nonemergency items in the underlying bill. so, mr. president, that's my argument. that's why i have introduced this legislation. i think it's unfortunate that the other side has chosen to object to it, but they have and that's it. the amendment will fail. unless the other side finds that it makes sense to simply begin to pay for the things. i thought the other side was interested in seeing that these requirements are paid for, particularly when they make such strong case for the payment of of -- of physicians who are
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medicare and medicaid patients. but that doesn't seem to be the case. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. a senator: what is the state of the senate? are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. isakson: i would ask unanimous consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: mr. president, i also ask unanimous consent that my amendment, the isakson amendment, number 3430, be modified with the changes at the desk. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. isakson: and i would make a poured that a quorum is not present. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i ask tts quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: wowcts. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i know that you and i and others in this chamber are focused like a laser beam on getting this economy turned around. and although we see some promising signs, for example, in my state of california, it turns out that last month 32,000 new jobs were created. we still are not moving quickly enough on the jobs front. and that's why i'm particularly pleased that leader reid is focused on jobs, jobs, jobs, and we're going to finish, hopefully, the bill that's
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before us, which is very clit cal to jobs, and then we're going to move on to the f.a.a. reauthorization, which is the federal aviation administration authorization, which is going to create 160,000 new jobs as we modernize our nation's airports, and then we're going to so forth and for other purposes a brief moment and take up the "hire" act, h-i-r-e act, that was passed over in the house. that will save 1 million jobs. we can't play politics with the highway trust fund, and the nation needs us to build our highways, our bridges, our roads. so we're doing the right thing. and there is one piece of unfinished business that is directly reemented t related to.
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there is no question that health care is directly related to our economy. and we need to fix a health care system that is broken. now, i have listened to my republican friends on this for a very long, long time. and they have a message for the american people, and i'd like to disstill that message -- distill that message. that message is, when it comes to health care reform, when it comes to fixing the health care system here's the republican message: be afraid. be very afraid. mr. president, that's not the american way. when there's a challenge in front of us, we act. we don't cower in the corner in fear. and i think it's important to note that if one were to be fraid, it's not of fixing -- if
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one were to be afraid, it's not of fixing the system -- if you like your health care system, you can keep it, but we're going to make sure it is affordable and 0 more people can attain it -- if there is one thing to be afraid of, it is doing nothing, the status quo. let me tell you why. every day in america, 14,000 people lose their health insurance. it could be any one of us for any of a number of reasons. we might lose our job, our spouse might lose their job, and that means we can't have health insurance anymore. an insurance company can rescind your policy, they can walk away and say, oh, by the way, 10 years ago when you signed up, you didn't mention that you had one blood test that was a little awry and, therefore, we're walking away from you. you may have a cap on your policy and reach that cap, mr. president, because you didn't read the fine print and you're out; it's over.
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mr. president, any one of us could be one of the 14,000 people who loses health insurance. oh, not in the senate. oh, no. every one of my colleagues, we're protected because we have a system that, yes, is a public option. the rules are made by the federal employee health benefit corporation and people can't mistreat us. but for some reason my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't seem to feel it's fair to give that kind of protection to ordinary families and their scaring people to death. well, let me say again, if there's anything to be afraid of, it's doing nothing. because you could be one of the 14,000 people -- in my state about 1,400 every day -- who lose their insurance. you could be one of the people who goes bankrupt because of a health care crisis.
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mr. president, 66% of bankruptcies in america today are directly linked to a health care crisis and most of "people" have insurance, have -- and most of those people have insurance, have insurance. i read a little story. i don't know if it's true, that sarah palin shall the former republican vice-presidential nominee, said that when she was young, her family went to canada to get their health care. i don't know if it's true. but i find it interesting, if it is true. here's the point: doing nothing is not on option. -- is not an option. let me tell you what else is happening. in california a company, anthem insurance, has increased rates in the individual market by, hold on to your hat, 29%. 29%.
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imagine, in one clip. and this leads me to a study that was done by a nonpartisan group and that study showed that if we do nothing, which is in fact my republican friends' idea, because they say start over. well, we started this under teddy roosevelt. it's time we acted. but this nonpartisan group said, if we do nothing, the average cost of insurance would be 45% of your income by 2016. can you imagine? and my colleagues on the other side say, well, if you go with the president's bill and the democrats' bill, insurance rates will go up. the fact is they won't go up if you have the same policy. if you have a better policy, they may go up a little over
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time, but they're never going to be -- never, never, never -- 45% of your income. and there are two reasons for that. number one, we're going to watch insurance companies like a hawk -- and that's the right thing to do. you know, they're not selling us something that is a luxury. they're selling us a product that is a matter of life or death, and we ought to look over their shoulder a little bit more to make sure they're fair. so that's one reason. the other reason is, we're going to help people,ed middle class, up to $80,000 a year, we're going to make sure you get tax credits to help you pay for your premium. that's a big deal. that's a good thing. so, remember, when the republicans say, be very afraid, don't be very afraid of reform; be very afraid of doing nothing.
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that's a reason to be very afraid. then my republican friends will say, they didn't take any of our ideas. well, it turns out, when the bill was being written in the senate, well over 100 amendments -- i think it was 160 amendments of the republicans were incorporated into the work of the "help" committee. oh, that's not good enough for them. we took 160 of their ideas, why can't they take an equal amount of our ideas? why can't we work together, come to the table across party lines? it doesn't work that way. then the president had them up for, i thought, a very instructive meeting, and the president took three or four more very good ideas from republicans, dealing with h.s.a.'s, dealing with medical malpractice, dealing with selling insurance across state lines, and a couple of other things, and they still say, it's not enough.
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then they say, be very afraid, people. be very afraid, because the senate might do this with a majority vote. well, i would suggest, all of us are here because we want a majority -- we won a majority vote. i don't hear any of my completion suggesting that we need -- i don't hear any of my colleagues suggesting that we need 600 votes to win. there is a point when something turns and it becomes obstruction. i can't look in the face of any of sunlights who are having all of these problems and tell them, i'm sorry, i couldn't do anything even though we had a majority in the senate. and so they're scaring people about using a procedure that they have used over the years. out of 22 times, they used reconciliation procedure
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requiring a majority of the vote -- a majority vote 16 of the 22 times. i need to say that again. my republican friends, who abwho are the use of a -- who abhor the use of a majority role is, used it 16 times out of the 22 times it was used and mostly it was used for health care. then they say, oh, no -- oh, no. when we used it, we used it for much smaller things. no. i checked it out. the whole reagan revolution was done by reconciliation. all of the bush tax cuts, health care and all. so the very slippery slope of their argument, whatever the argument of the day is, at the end of the day, it's about scaring people. it's about scaring people. so i'm going to close with this: i'm going to talk about the eight or ten things that happened within six months to a year at that this bill is signed into law, real things.
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for all new policies, you can keep your child on your policy until he or she is 27 years of age. 27 years of age. i know a lot of people whose kids have been thrown off their policy. they may have had asthma, for example, and they say, you have a preexisting condition. they can get no insurance. we fix that in this bill. if you have a preexisting condition, and you're an adult, and you can't get insurance, you can join a high-risk pool and get insurance very soon -- within 900 days. if you are a small business -- within 90 days. if you are a small business struggling to find health or yourself-employed -- and i have spoken to so many in that situation in california -- you u will get many bills for small business and self-employed people in tax credits to help you get insurance.
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there will be no preexisting condition for children. if you have a child who may have a preexisting condition, they still can get insured. i think the story that harry reid told about a couple that had full insurance and the woman gave birth to a baby and the baby had a cleft palate and the couple was distraught and the doctor said, don't worry, we can fix that baby right up and no one is going to know there was a problem. they wrote to their insurance company. you know what their insurance company said? even though they gave full coverage to that pregnant woman, your baby has a preexisting condition. you're out of luck. that is morally reprehensible. so if you want to be scared about something -- and i don't believe in being scared about anything, but if you want to be scared about something, be
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scared about the status quo. be scared about what your insurers could do to you in today's world. what else happens? prevention is pretty much free. as soon as this bill is signed into law, you get to go to your doctor and get preventive treatment pretty much for free. if you are a senior and you're on a prescription drug plan, we're going to close that gap, that payment gap where you get to a certain level -- what is that level, do you remember? -- you get to a certain level and then your insurance company stops paying until you reach yet another level. so at the time you need your medicine most, it's not there for you. we're going to close that doughnut hole. by the way, that impacts 794,000 californians and the president wants to give about $250 to help our seniors who fall into that
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doughnut hole right away. also, we'll have insurance reform. the minute this bill is signed into law, an insurance company must use 80% of their income on you, on the people who have insurance, not on them, not putting it in their pocket, not on these outrageous bonuses and paying their people millions of dollars. 80% to 85% will have to go into the business of helping their people by expanding coverage or lowering premiums. and there's a couple more things that kick in. no more caps on new plans. remember when i told you, if you don't read -- we once had -- i remember my husband once had a plan, mr. president, that this had a cap. we didn't even know it. somebody warned us, and we realized it was bad plan and it was a cap, and i forget the
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amount, but it wasn't that high. and you'll be protected from your insurance company walking away from you. no more rescissions in all new plans. and there are other benefits to retirees. and in 2014, we'll have these exchanges, and you'll be able to shop for the best insurance in an exchange, online. it'll be very clear. so we're moving in the right direction. at the end of the day, by the way, this bill saves money. not -- not only is it deficit neutral, it helps the deficit. why? we take the fraud, waste, and abuse out of the system. so, mr. president, my message to the people of this great country is don't listen to the fearmongering. learn the facts. understand how life will be better if we move forward with this, not in three years but right away.
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i think if we do that and realize that we're going to do it in a way that actually reduces the deficit, there should be strong support for this bill, and i hope we'll be able to get to that day as we focus on getting this country on track. jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. we also fix this problem of unaffordable health care, tenuous health care. it's got to become something we can count on. thank you very, very much, mr. president. i would yield the floor. and i would note the absence of a quorum. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from montana is recognized. mr. baucus: mr. president, i ask that further proceedings on the quorum call be dispend -- be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 4213 which the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4213, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, and for her purposes. the presiding officer: the senator from montana is recognized. mr. baucus: mr. president, pursuant to the previous order on behalf of the chairman of the rules and budget committees, i call up my amendment numbered 3429. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from montana, mr. baucus, proposes amendment numbered 3429 to 3336.
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mr. baucus: the first amendment is a simple attempt to improve the availability of what the congress does. this amendment would require the secretary of the senate to create a new website that clearly provides information for the congressional budget office on the legislative actions of the senate. this is a side by side amendment to the coburn amendment on the same subject. i believe that senator coburn has the same good purpose in mind. we have drafted this side by side amendment to avoid new burdens on the congressional budget office. the rules committee, the budget committee worked together with us in the drafting of this amendment to ensure that it would work. i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: is all time yielded back? if all time is yielded back, the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye.
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those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. coburn: mr. president, is it in order now for my amendment? mr. baucus: i move to reconsider that last vote. senator schumer move to lay that on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. without objection. the question is on the coburn amendment 3358. with four minutes evenly divided before the vote. mr. coburn: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma is recognized. mr. coburn: we just voice voted an amendment that really won't do anything. what this amendment says is where we violate our own rules in terms of paygo, that we will
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actually publish both the number of times and the amount of dollars that we do that. it's about transparency of the senate being honest with the american people. with great fanfare, the senator from montana came down and we put into law a paygo law, and since that time, including this bill, we will have passed passed $120 billion of debt to our kids by saying we waive paygo, and that's okay. that's the right of the body to do that, but it is not okay not to let the american people know that and let them keep track of us. so this amendment is very simple. any time we create a new program, any time we put up new -- we pass and violate the paygo rules by overriding the paygo point of order, then we should list that with the american people so they can see what we're doing. it's really quite simple, quite straightforward. it doesn't require any time.
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you will spend forever going to the congressional budget office to find this, and this makes it very simple, very straightforward. with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. mr. baucus: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana is recognized. mr. baucus: i think we could vote on this. i yield back the balance of my time, but before doing so, i will say i think it's a step toward transparency, and i urge all my colleagues to vote for it. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. all time is yielded back. the question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber who wish to vote or to change a vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 100, the nays zero. the amendment is agreed to.
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the presiding officer: there are four minutes equally divided on the murray amendment 3356 before the vote. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: could we have order in the senate? could we have -- could we have order in the senate. we need to recognize senator murray. could we have order in the senate. the senator from washington is recognized. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i get one minute and senator kerry get the second minute of our time. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mrs. murray: mr. president, i'm offering the youth summer jobs amendment to build on and extend the extremely successful summer
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jobs program that put over -- the presiding officer: will the senator suspend. the senator is not in order. senator carper is correct. the senate is not in order. could the senate please come to order. the senator from washington is recognized. mrs. murray: mr. president, last summer, 313,000 young people were able to have a job. i personally heard the amazing stories of these young men and women who got a job and changed their lives and gave them the -- the presiding officer: the senator will please suspend. senator reid is correct. we cannot hear the senator. would the senator suspend. the senate please come to order. the senator from washington is recognized. mrs. murray: mr. president, i have personally heard the stories of these young men and women whose summer jobs changed their lives across the country. this amendment will provide provide $1.3 billion to create up to 500,000 temporary jobs this coming summer. it will invest in critical
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employment and learning programs that will help not only these young people but the businesses who hire them. the underlying bill today we are going to consider is going to help millions of families across the country who need a job. this amendment will make sure that young people get a start in their professional lives, firmly planted on their feet and moving toward success. i yield the second minute to senator kerry. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts is recognized. mr. kerry: i want to thank senator murray for her work on this amendment. today almost 15 million americans are unemployed. nine million can only find part-time work, and 25% of our nation's teenagers and 42% of african-american teenagers are unemployed. the emergency fund and the summer jobs program provide desperately needed jobs to those who are the most vulnerable in an economic turndown. according to the center on budget policy priorities, extending the emergency fund will save, save more than
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100,000 jobs and provide -- providing $1.3 billion in funding for a summer jobs program will create 500,000 summer jobs. i promise my colleagues, provide those summer jobs and you'll save far more than that money in the criminal justice system and in other social services. this is money well invested. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire is recognized. mr. gregg: mr. president, could we get order? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from new hampshire is recognized. mr. gregg: why do we keep doing this? why do we keep doing this? why do we keep passing on to our children these debts? why do we keep running programs out here after programs that are shrouded in sweetness and light but aren't paid for? we just passed a paygo poured here four weeks ago to great fanfare, great breast beating about how fiscally responsible
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we were going to be. and time after time since we passed that paygo poured, amendments have been brought to this floor which violate it, and this is another one. this amendment costs $2 billion which isn't paid for. summer jobs may be good, i'm sure they are good, but why do you want to put the debt for those summer jobs onto the children of the people who are having the summer jobs? if this is a priority -- and it is -- let's pay for it. let's take the money out of some other account. but let's not add to the debt and let's not once again violate the paygo rules which the senate has so profoundly -- or loudly proclaimed is the manner fch we are going to discipline ourselves fiscally. it's a $2 billion item. if you can't stand by paygo for for $2 billion, you're making a farce out of it. mr. president, as a result of this violation of paygo, i therefore raise a poured against
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the amendment -- a point of order against the amendment pursuant to senate 201 sub a of senate resolution 21, the concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year 2008. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington is recognized. mrs. murray: mr. president, let me be clear -- mr. baucus: mr. president, how much time does the senator from washington have? the presiding officer: the senator has consumed her time. mrs. murray: mr. president, let me be very clear, working with the finance committee, this amendment is paid for over ten years. i ask the budget point of order be waived. mr. gregg: is the motion well taken? this a paygo violation. mr. murray: i ask the budget point of order be waived and call for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll on the motion to waive.
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